Akufo-Addo’s 2024 State Of The Nation Address : Full Text


President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo delivered his penultimate State of the Nation address to Parliament on Tuesday, February 27, 2024.

He discussed several aspects of the economy and reported on his accomplishments to Ghanaians.

The following is the entire text of President Akufo-Addo's address:

In accordance with protocol and convention, it is good to see that First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, Second Lady Samira Bawumia, Spouse of Mr. Speaker, Alice Adjua Yornas, Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, and Justices of the Supreme Court, Chairperson Nana Otuo Siriboe II, and Members of the Council of State, the new Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Thomas OppongPeprah, the Inspector General of Police, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, and Service Chiefs, are all present, as are the Dean and Members of the Diplomatic Corps.

Mr. Speaker, the House is duly honoured by the welcome attendance of the former President of the Republic, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, and former First Lady, Her Excellency Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings.

Mr Speaker, I am glad to be able to report that the entire territory that makes up our nation is safe, secure and under the control of the government and people of Ghana.

This might sound like a pedestrian statement with which to start a Message on the State of the Nation. Unfortunately, far from it being an everyday truism, this is no longer a statement or claim that can be easily made in these times in the neighbourhood in which we are. West Africa is under threat of terrorism and violent extremism, rapidly spreading southwards from the Sahel to coastal West Africa.

We can no longer take the territorial integrity of our countries for granted. Indeed, many of our neighbours have already fallen victim, and lost large portions of their territories to extremist groups, and Ghana, by the grace of the Almighty, is the only coastal state along the Gulf of Guinea that has so far not recorded a terrorist attack.

Mr Speaker, the peace and security we have in our country has not happened by chance. It has taken deliberate policy and planning on the part of Government, and a lot of hard work and dedication on the part of our security services to keep our country safe and secure.

I might add that it has also meant we have had to spend a lot of money that would otherwise have been available to spend on many of our development needs. But I believe we are all agreed that the primary responsibility of the state towards its citizens is to provide and guarantee peace and security, and we are doing just that.

Since we came into office, we have ensured a significant expansion of the Armed Forces and all the other security agencies. We are paying diligent attention to their welfare as well. The accommodation and physical environment generally of the security agencies are being improved. We have quickened the pace of the retooling and equipping of the security agencies to ensure readiness towards the emerging security threats.

For the majority of us and our everyday activities, it is the security of our streets and homes and communities that concern us most. We want our children and grandchildren to grow up in a safe atmosphere, and the Ghana Police Service play the lead role in this. Again, Government has performed most creditably. They are much better equipped than they have ever been, and their increased visibility on the streets goes a long way to reassure the community. The changing image of the Police is, perhaps, best exemplified by the dramatic facelift they have given to the frontage of the Police Headquarters on the Ring Road in Accra. It is beautiful, and I recommend it to all institutions and, indeed, households.

Whilst we are spending money, time, energy and lives keeping the country safe from external dangers, I must add that it is a matter of great concern that we continue to have so many chieftaincy and land disputes around the country, which tend to be breeding grounds for internal tensions and destabilisation.

Mr Speaker, I must make special mention of the troubles in Bawku. The tragedy is not only that a thriving and dynamic town is being reduced to a wasteland of destruction and distrust, we are spending money and energy that would have been better spent on development needs of Bawku, providing security to keep brothers and sisters from killing each other.

Mr Speaker, what should concern all of us and not just the people of Bawku is that, in its current state, Bawku is an alluring magnet to mischief makers and extremists operating a few kilometres across from the border. In the bid to find a lasting solution to the conflict, Government has, in the past year, undertaken a number of measures, including the establishment of a special Bawku Taskforce, and the intensification of engagements with the factions for the resolution of the chieftaincy dispute. On the recommendation of the Upper East Regional and National Security Councils, four (4) radio stations, that have been broadcasting incendiary language and propagating hate speech, have been shut down by the National Communications Authority. The Chief Justice has also recently established specialised Courts in Accra and in Kumasi to deal expeditiously with criminal matters emanating from the Bawku conflict.

Government is determined to do all it can to ensure there is security in every inch of the territory of our country, but it also is very much up to the citizens to help create the needed atmosphere, and I am, thus, appealing to all citizens to take the See Something, Say Something campaign of the Ministry of National Security very seriously.

There is, indeed, Mr Speaker, a state of palpable anxiety and tension in every corner of West Africa, raising the spectre of regional instability, which we thought had been banished. Unconstitutional changes in Government in parts of Africa, especially in West Africa, through a series of coup d’états and military interventions in governance, testify to an unfortunate democratic regression in the Region. It is in the interest of democratic growth that this development is reversed as soon as possible, and we, in Ghana, continue to give maximum support to ECOWAS, the regional body of West Africa, and the African Union, Africa’s continental organisation, in their efforts to restore democratic institutions in the affected nations. We must help stem the tide of this unwelcome evolution, and help entrench democracy in West Africa. We believe also that a reform of the global governance architecture, such as the Security Council of the United Nations, to make it more representative and accountable, will help strengthen global peace and stability, and, thereby, help consolidate democratic rule in the world.

Mr Speaker, we in Ghana have had our fair share of political instability and experimentation about how we should govern ourselves. There might be new names being ascribed to some of the supposed new ideas being canvassed by some today, but I daresay, on close examination, we would discover they are not new, we have tried them here, and they have failed. We know about all-powerful, cannot-be-questioned Messiahs, we know about liberators, and we know about redeemers and deities in military uniform.

It might sound new to some, but those of us who have been around for a while have heard the argument made passionately that democracy was not a suitable form of Government if we wanted rapid development. It is a tired argument that was regularly used by coup d’etat apologists.

It is also not new to have political parties and politics, in general, being denigrated, indeed, there used to be national campaigns of fear waged against politics and political parties.

It took time and it took long battles, but, in the end, a consensus did emerge, and we opted for a multi-party democratic form of Government under the Constitution, which ushered in the Fourth Republic.

Mr Speaker, it is not a perfect document, Constitutions do not ever pretend to be; but it has served us well these past thirty-two (32) years, considering where we have come from. It is a sacred document that should not be tampered with lightly, but, I hasten to add, our Constitution did not descend from heaven, we, Ghanaians, drew it up to serve our needs, and we can amend it to suit our changing needs and circumstances. We should work towards finding a consensus on the changes that the majority of Ghanaians want made to the Constitution.

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